Energy

The understanding of potential and kinetic energy has given humans the ability to create and harness heat, motion, electricity, and light. Potential energy is the energy a physical body has due to its relative position to another object or its inherent composition. Relevant within the energy industry are potential energy sources such as wood, coal, or natural gas. Kinetic energy is the energy released during motion such as wind or steam and is exploited by the power sector through the installation of electricity-generating turbines.

Energy sources are categorized into renewables and non-renewables, depending on the timespan needed for them to be formed. These sources in their natural form serve as primary energy. They may be directly consumed or further manipulated into secondary energy, such as gasoline and electricity. While fossil fuels still lead global primary energy, subsidies and climate-conscious policies have seen the participation of renewables grow consistently.

Market size

China is the world's largest energy user

Primary energy consumption worldwide in 2021, by country (in exajoules)

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Further details: Visit original statistic Primary energy consumption worldwide in 2021, by country (in exajoules)

China is the world's largest consumer of primary energy. As the second leading economy and home to over one billion people, it requires far more fuel to power households and industry than any other country. Since the beginning of the century, global energy consumption has declined just twice - the first year of the coronavirus pandemic (2020) and the year following the Great Recession (2009).

Global energy consumption
Global electricity market
Electricity sector in China

Market segments

Fossil fuels remain the leading fuel source

Primary energy consumption worldwide from 2019 to 2021, by fuel type (in exajoules)

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Further details: Visit original statistic Primary energy consumption worldwide from 2019 to 2021, by fuel type (in exajoules)

Fossil fuels remain by far the leading primary energy source worldwide. With the first large-scale power plants dating back to the late 19th century, coal- and gas-fired steam engines have since established themselves as indispensable electricity sources. Today, thermal power from fossil-powered steam turbines continues to be the motor for developing economies like China and India.

Global coal energy industry
Global hydropower industry
Global nuclear power

Industry trends

Hydrogen's role in tomorrow's energy sector

Distribution of hydrogen production worldwide in 2020, by type

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Further details: Visit original statistic Distribution of hydrogen production worldwide in 2020, by type

In a bid to reduce the world’s carbon footprint, the energy industry is turning towards hydrogen. Today, most hydrogen is produced at natural gas plants. In the coming years, however, green hydrogen from electrolysis powered by renewables could dominate the stage. 2021 already saw some of the largest European utilities and wind turbine manufacturers announcing adjunct offshore projects. Current technologies still make fossil-fuel-derived hydrogen the more economically viable option.

Green hydrogen
Investments in hydrogen worldwide
Number of global hydrogen projects announced, by region

Industry leaders

Renewable-focused utilities most valuable

Market value of largest electric utility companies worldwide as of April 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

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Further details: Visit original statistic Market value of largest electric utility companies worldwide as of April 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Electricity and heating gas are distributed to end-users via public utilities. As of 2021, U.S.-based NextEra Energy was the most valuable utility in the world, followed by European utilities Enel and Iberdrola. These companies have invested heavily in renewable capacity in the past decade and have become some of the largest energy companies worldwide, ahead of conventional Big Oil names. In terms of installed renewable capacity, the world’s leading utilities are located in China.

Green supermajors
NextEra Energy
Leading global utilities, based on renewable capacity

Industry prices

Soaring energy prices

Monthly prices for natural gas in the United States and Europe from January 2014 to August 2022 (in nominal U.S. dollars per million British thermal units)

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Further details: Visit original statistic Monthly prices for natural gas in the United States and Europe from January 2014 to August 2022 (in nominal U.S. dollars per million British thermal units)

With supply unable to keep up with the recovering demand in the second year of the pandemic, 2021 saw natural gas and coal prices skyrocket, affecting electricity prices in the countries most dependent on these fuels. The issue was aggravated by low renewable power output, depleted fuel stocks after a prolonged winter, and most recently, the Russia-Ukraine war. After reaching record lows during the pandemic's outbreak, crude oil prices have since rebounded, trading at highs last seen in 2008.

Global energy prices
Energy supply shortage
Weekly crude oil prices

State of the industry

  • Primary energy worldwide
  • Energy industry worldwide
  • Global renewable energy industry
  • Global energy prices
  • Coronavirus: impact on the energy industry worldwide
  • Energy consumption worldwide
  • Offshore wind energy worldwide
  • Green Supermajors
  • Energy prices in the EU
  • Energy sector in India
  • Vestas Wind Systems

Industry definition

Within this segment, Statista provides detailed information for all major energy sources, such as fossil energy, renewables, and nuclear power, with an additional focus on the electricity industry and market. Included are key market indicators, such as production, consumption, and prices, in addition to statistics and reports on the leading utilities and industry players.

More interesting topics from the industry "Energy"

Renewable Energy

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